Friday, October 30, 2009

Energy Expert Ballentine: Promise of Florida’s Offshore Oil is Exaggerated
Original article -
“The recent hype concerning offshore oil and gas drilling in Florida falls into the category of "Much ado about almost nothing." The US Minerals Management Service estimates that the Eastern Planning Area of the Gulf contained only 1 million barrels of crude oil, which isn’t even enough to supply the US for one hour. Let's stop pipe dreaming about vast quantities of oil and gas off Florida and, instead, begin serious preparation for an inevitable paradigm change as the world's oil production begins its inexorable decline.”

Drilling's benefits unproven to Florida

Judah gets fired up over offshore drilling (FL)

Chamber, BDA worried about drilling (FL)

Australia oil spill fuels debate here (FL)

Offshore-drilling debate reveals upcoming battle lines (FL),0,1136191.story

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Supporters for offshore drilling in Florida still hiding (FL)

Fla. offshore drilling debated on Internet

Viewers respond, raise their own concerns about off-shore drilling (FL)

Clean Beaches and Ocean Worth More Than Oil

According to “Oceans Under the Gun: Living Seas or Drilling Seas?”, a new report released today by Environment America and the Sierra Club, clean beaches and oceans support a vibrant coastal tourism and fishing economy that generates almost $200 billion per year.

The report shows that the annual value of the sustainable economy based on tourism and fishing in the most regions of the country, with the exception of parts of the Gulf of Mexico, is approximately one and a half to twenty times larger than the annual value of oil and gas resources that we might find offshore. In the North Atlantic the ratio is 12 to 1; in the Mid-Atlantic the ratio is almost 4 to 1; in the South Atlantic the ratio is almost 21 to 1; on Florida’s west coast the ratio is almost 1.5 to 1; and on the Pacific coast the ratio is about 3 to 1.

Over the next few months Congress will decide whether to allow expanded drilling off our coasts as part of the energy and global warming legislation now moving through Congress. The eastern Gulf of Mexico is the area most at risk, but other regions like California, New England, the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast are also threatened by some proposals.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Offshore Oil Drilling Forum Tonight!

Think energy (FL)
“Another way of thinking about propelling us to the future, however, will be explored tonight in a forum on offshore oil drilling, broadcast from Florida State University's TV studio from 7 to 9 p.m. on 4FSU and streamed live on”

Learn, ask about offshore drilling tonight (FL)

Australian Oil Rig Blowout Creates Environmental Catastrophe

From a press release issued by Defenders of Wildlife earlier today:

The impacts of the nine-week West Timor oil rig blowout are creating an environmental catastrophe for wildlife and ocean ecosystems. In August, the West Atlas/Montara offshore drilling rig, widely touted as a "safe, modern" operation, suffered what the rig's operators termed a "loss of well control." Despite three attempts to stop the resulting massive oil spill, oil continues to leak into the surrounding ocean. Estimates of the volume of oil spilled since the August 21 Australian blowout have now expanded as much as five-fold, to more than 9.7 million gallons, while the oil slick has covered several thousand square miles of ocean waters.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate is now discussing allowing essentially the same kind of "environmentally-responsible" offshore drilling to go forward off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida's Gulf Coast and Panhandle beaches.

"If anything like the Australian blowout ever takes place off of the Southeast U.S. beaches or in Florida waters, the economic and environmental consequences will last for decades," said Richard Charter, government relations consultant with Defenders of Wildlife. Worldwide, conservation interests have become increasingly concerned as satellite images have shown that the mega-spill has spread from Australia's whale and sea-turtle rich Kimberley Coast into distant Indonesian waters as well. Three prior attempts to stop the flow of oil have failed, and a fourth attempt this week had to be postponed due to equipment failure.

More photos

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oil Spill Repair Delayed Yet Again
“So it’s really difficult to repair oil spills? Oil drilling companies lack the technical skills to stop oil spills, even given two and a half months to work on the problem? If that’s true, then why are we drilling for oil at all? If no one knows how to stop these oil spills, why are American politicians pushing to have more of these offshore drilling platforms installed along America’s shorelines?”

When offshore oil goes horribly wrong

Promise of drilling is vastly overblown (FL)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Oil Spill's Real Effects

It's not just conjecture anymore. We're now seeing real effects to
sea critters
in the Timor Sea after an oil spill from a "state of the art" technology oil rig. Remember that when oil companies tell you that there is no risk associated with offshore oil drilling. By the way, that gusher off the northwest coast of Australia has been going on for over two months now with no end in sight.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Anti-Drilling Momentum Builds in Florida

There is a steady and growing list of cities, commissions and chambers of commerce who are voicing their opinion that new offshore oil drilling is NOT THE ANSWER. Here's the current list:

* Bay County Chamber of Commerce
* Bay County Commission
* Barrier Islands Governmental Council, 'Big C'
* Captiva Erosion Prevention District
* Clearwater, City of
* Cocoa Beach Surfrider
* Collier County Commission
* Destin Area Chamber of Commerce
* Escambia County Commission
* Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
* Florida's Great Northwest (Military Interests)
* Indian Rocks, City of
* Indian Shores Town Council
* Lee County Commission
* Lee County Tourist Council
* Miami Beach, City of
* Pensacola City Council
* Redington Beach, Town of
* Redington Shores, Town of
* Safety Harbor, City of
* Sarasota, City of
* Sarasota, County of
* St. Petersburg, City of
* Tampa, City of
* Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce
* Tarpon Springs, City of
* Treasure Island, City of
* Wakulla County Commission
* Walton Area Chamber of Commerce
* Walton County Commission

These resolutions all have a few common themes, the most signficant are:

1. Oil drilling significantly threatens Florida's coastal environment and beaches
2. Healthy coasts and beaches are critical to support Florida's massive coastal tourism economy

More information on resolutions against oil drilling in Florida here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

DRILL, BABY, DRILL? Oil, gas money flows in Florida as offshore drilling debate looms

Offshore drilling debate enters new round in Tallahassee
Drilling off coast is too risky (FL)

Is offshore drilling doomed yet again in the Senate? (FL)

State GOP senators skeptical on offshore oil drilling (FL)

County commission to talk drilling pros, cons (FL)

Environmentalists nervous as Legislature gears up for vote on offshore drilling (FL)
Oil industry stages blitz to push offshore drilling (NC)

Aussie Oil Spill - Third Try is Not the Charm

PTTEP Australasia, the company that promised that its offshore oil drilling rig in the Timor Sea was constructed with state of the art technology that made an oil spill nearly impossible, has now for two months been unable to stop a leak that has coated the Timor Sea with a massive toxic slick. Dolphins, penguins and sea birds have been filmed swimming through the oil slick. Indonesian fishermen are reporting huge losses of income.

As this article states: "How can anyone watch this environmental disaster and still promote expanded offshore drilling along the shores of the United States of America?"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Second attempt to plug leaking oil rig in Australia fails
The bad news just keep on comin’ from this oil well blowout that wasn’t supposed to happen.
“The spill is reportedly Australia's worst since offshore drilling began more than 40 years ago, and ecologists fear the toxic cocktail of oil and dispersant chemicals could threaten marine and coastal species.”
Also - Offshore Oil Drilling Disaster Continues

FSU pledges honesty amidst offshore drilling debate (FL)

Monday, October 12, 2009

1. Australian Oil Spill
PTT Exploration Says Next Attempt to Stop Leak Due Oct. 13
Also - Plugging of oil spill leak delayed again

2. NOAA Comments on Offshore Drilling Plan
Federal scientists: Limit offshore drilling plans,0,2819272.story
“In a letter sent to Interior officials last month, NOAA recommended excluding large tracts of the Alaska coast, the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico from Interior's draft offshore drilling plan for 2010 to 2015. NOAA recommends establishing buffer zones around the Southern California Ecological Preserve off Santa Barbara. In addition, it suggests that its broader recommendations, such as taking greater account of drilling's effects on marine life, could affect potential lease sales off California. The agency calls for a ban on drilling in the Arctic until oil companies greatly improve their ability to prevent and clean up oil spills. And it asks Interior to delay new drilling plans until an Obama administration ocean policy task force completes its work late this year.”
Also - NOAA Raises Red Flags on Aggressive Offshore Drilling Plan (PEER)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Legislator, lobbyist wife raise conflict issues in oil drilling case (FL)

Drilling proposal protects Pinellas (FL)
"Ocean currents don't respect aquatic preserve lines."
After a hurricane there were no reports of an oil spill, but "everything you touched was oily."

Off-shore drilling off our coast? (FL)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Anybody Got a Plan B?

Attempt To Plug Oil Spill In Timor Sea Fails

It’s now 46 days since the oil spill in the Timor Sea, caused by offshore oil drilling operations there, began, and the oil is still spewing out, uncontrolled. Estimates of the amount of oil spilled so far range into the millions of gallons.

The latest development in the spill is not good news. The first attempt to plug the spill took place only within the last week, and it has failed.

More proof that Drill Baby Drill = Spill Baby Spill.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Coastal oil drilling backers aim to sidestep state's barrier (CA),0,5470610.story
“Supporters want to get around a state commission's opposition to new drilling off California's coast by passing a bill that would create a governor-appointed panel that could then approve the project.”
In other words, if you can’t get what you want, change the rules of the game.

Beware the Sirens of Big Oil (AK, CA, FL)
“People in Florida, California, and other coastal states considering offshore oil should beware. What good will come of sabotaging your existing tourism and sport fishing industries, and your beautiful coastlines where residents and visitors recreate, with the false promises of Big Oil? Falling for the siren song will only indenture your state to an oil-dependent future that is already past. It's time to grow new green industries, rooted in regional strengths, rather than support transnational oil corporations that do not factor your community's quality of life or values in their bottom lines. Just say 'no' to the Sirens.”

Public forum scheduled to discuss offshore drilling (FL)

Drilling in state waters is too great a threat (FL)

Don't drill in Gulf of Mexico, beach cities agree (FL)

Friday, October 2, 2009

'Gettin' Schooled'

Yesterday we posted a link to a story out of Florida stating that the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association had sided with Big Oil, saying that revenue from offshore oil and natural gas production could help provide revenue for programs that invest in renewable energy technologies. We termed this a 'sell out.'

Today, other environmental organizations, including Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense Fund came to the same conclusion.

The association's decision "to trade Florida's coast to the drillers for the pittance of future, undefined and unbankable amounts of solar rebate money is the most shockingly self-interested, embarrassing and sad politcal moves I have seen in my over 10 years working on conservation in Florida," Gerald Karnas, Florida climate project director for the Environmental Defense Fund, wrote in an e-mail to Florida Solar Energy Industries Association's President Bruce Kershner. "Was that the best deal you could cut? Rebate money 10 years from now?" Karnas said. "On a basketball court that's called 'gettin' schooled.' "

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Oil Slick from Drilling Rig Blowout Nearing Timor

Residents living along the coast of West Timor in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) are worried about the impacts of an oil spill in the Timor Sea originating from a leaking well head in Australia.

A Kolbano resident, Daniel Missa, said dozens of residents had experienced nausea and skin irritation after eating dead fish found along the beach.

"Residents didn't know why the fish were dead, so they picked them up and ate them. They apparently suffered from itchiness, felt nauseous and vomited," said Daniel.

A fisherman in Oesapa subdistrict in Kupang, Ridwan, 34, who had just returned from fishing in the Timor Sea on Monday, said that the sea was filled with a crude oil slick.

"The surface of the sea is covered by masses of crude oil resembling sand," said Ridwan. A large part of the slick is in Indonesian waters, he said, but so far none of the authorities have taken responsibility for cleaning the oil spill. "Eight of my colleagues and I saw with our own eyes the dead fish floating on the surface at a distance of around 300 kilometers, emitting a foul smell," he said.

The Montara oil field, located around 690 kilometers west of Darwin, North Australia, and 250 kilometers north west of Truscott in Western Australia, exploded on Aug. 21, releasing huge volumes of crude oil across waters in the region. The oil spill, reaching a volume of 500,000 liters per day, is moving close to Timor Island, located only 70 nautical miles from the oil field.

"The oil slick is expected to arrive in Kolbano, a densely populated area in South Central Timor regency, by the second week of October," said West Timor Care Foundation director Ferdi Tanoni at a press conference in the provincial capital of Kupang on Wednesday.